God has protected the people of Israel for 3000 years. Only twice in their history have they been actually defeated, and both times we can see God's active hand in that. All other times, though their fortunes have gone up and down, any other attempts to defeat them have been curiously unsuccessful. Even in the recent decades since the middle of the 20th century.
God takes their side. Not because they are better than other people, but because God keeps his promises, and they are part of his purposes. It seems that, in his purposes, it has come time for them to return to the land he promised them, and (I believe) to manage Jerusalem, the City of God. But they do not at the moment have the favour of God, because ...
But the people of Israel have not taken this responsibility. The secular among them have trusted only in themselves, and have shown brutality rather than mercy, fear rather than trust. The religious among them have merely sought to obey detailed rules. Both responses might be very natural responses to the situation they find themselves in, but they are not what God wishes.
The people of Israel, like the Christians, have not shown forth God's character. They have not shown his greatness, they have not demonstrated God's love for his whole Creation, they have not displayed God's generosity, they have not borne God's pity for the alien, the poor, the oppressed. (Some have, a minority, but in the main, no.)
In Israel's case the alien are the Palestinians. Israel has shown only arrogance towards them. Even if it has been, materially, better than the surrounding nations towards the Palestinians, the Israelis have humiliated them. Those with power should never humiliate those with less power. That is not God's way; God never humiliates the poor or the oppressed.
Both the Christians over the centuries and the people of Israel in the recent decades have brought God's holy Name into disrepute. The result is that people turn away from God - who is the only real hope for a needy world. That is a serious thing. God will require this at our hands.
God might well protect Israel from its enemies. But he has been known to punish his people severely. God has acted in their history both with protection and with punishment. They know that. Why then do they not realise he is active in these ways today? Why do they continue to dishonour the Name of God?
But they are curiously selective about which of God's commands they take care over. Consider the following:
|The Command||Where||Care Taken to Ensure Command is Kept|
|"Do not cook a young sheep or goat in its mother's milk."||Exodus 23:19||Never eat milk and meat together, wait 6 hours between eating them, even use different utensils so they cannot mix. So that there is absolutely no chance of accidentally breaking this law. We love God too much to risk breaking his law.|
|"Observer the Sabbath and keep it holy"||Exodus 20:8||Ensure that all work-related activity is not carried out. Restrict how far you can walk. Use automation to get things done. Do not even press buttons; lifts stop automatically every floor. We love God too much to risk breaking his law.|
|"Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner"||Exodus 22:21, Exodus 23:9||None whatsoever. Why not?!?|
Which of the above commandments most shows forth the character of God? The last one. Why is it, then, that God's People ignore that command with regard to the Palestinians? The Palestinians are oppressed and mistreated. It is no excuse that other peoples do worse; we are talking about Israel's special role here, a role that no other national group has: that of showing forth the character of the Living, Holy God. Not only do they not take care to avoid breaking that command, they openly flaunt it. They have power and a dominant position. Those with power should NEVER humiliate those with less power.
God wants to protect them and give them real prosperity. But for this to occur they should trust in God, not in their own devices. Their schemes exhibit desire to dominate, to take revenge, to exert useless pressure.